Practice Relating to Rule 113. Treatment of the Dead
Section A. Respect for the dead
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) states: “It is imperative to tend to the enemy’s wounded and dead.”
The manual further states: “[A legal] combatant is entitled to the status of a prisoner of war, according him … protection against the abuse of dead soldiers’ bodies.”
According to the manual, it is absolutely forbidden to abuse the corpses of the enemy’s dead.
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states: “The bodies of the fallen must not be desecrated and they must be given suitable burial.”
The manual further states:
It is absolutely forbidden to desecrate the bodies of the enemy’s fallen. Such actions do not contribute anything to the fighting and destroy the human image of both the fallen soldier and the desecrator.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
In its judgment in Physicians for Human Rights v. Commander of the IDF Forces in the West Bank in 2002, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated:
Though we are unable to express a position regarding the specific events mentioned in the petition … we see fit to emphasize that our combat forces are required to abide by the rules of humanitarian law regarding the care of the wounded, the ill and bodies of the deceased.
In its ruling in the Barake case
in 2002, dealing with the question of when, how and by whom the mortal remains of Palestinians who died in a battle in Jenin refugee camp should be identified and buried, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated: “Needless to say, the burial will be made in an appropriate and respectful manner, maintaining the respect for the dead. In this matter, no distinction will be made between the bodies of armed combatants and the bodies of civilians.”